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How Efavirenz, Emtricitabine, and Tenofovir Works and What to Tell Your Doctor

Efavirenz, Emtricitabine, and Tenofovir: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Efavirenz, Emtricitabine, and Tenofovir to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)

How Does Efavirenz, Emtricitabine, and Tenofovir Work?

Tenofovir (one of the components of the drug) is currently the only medication in a class of HIV medications known as nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtRTIs). Emtricitabine belongs to a group of medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), and efavirenz belongs to a group of HIV medications known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Although these three medications come from different medication classes, they all work similarly. The combination drug works by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, it must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV is a little different from many other viruses because it must first convert its genetic material from RNA to DNA. It is the DNA genes that allow HIV to multiply.
HIV converts its genetic material by using a special protein called the reverse transcriptase enzyme. To create DNA, this enzyme uses several different molecular building-blocks.
Efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir works by tricking reverse transcriptase into thinking it is one of these molecular building-blocks. However, it is just different enough that when used to create DNA, the medicine actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply. Efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, however. It can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.

Info on Efavirenz, Emtricitabine, and Tenofovir

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